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Lisa Ostroff, Owner

Trade Roots
5852 N. Washington Blvd.
Arlington Virginia 22205

How did you get started with Trade Roots?

With degrees in International Relations and Public Policy, I moved to the area 30 years ago thinking I’d eventually enter the Peace Corps, or work for the World Bank or AID. Instead, life took me in a different direction.

In 2012, I read a wonderful book called “Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” which portrayed Indian families trapped by poverty. Two of my four boys were off in college, and my youngest was leaving elementary school. Having spent so many years investing in my kids, their schools and our neighborhoods, I thought more about ways I could support families globally. It was time to do something more for myself, my community and for the millions of women around the world who don’t have the opportunities that we enjoy. Trade Roots is the result.

What’s your store all about?

Trade Roots was born in an old apartment building in Westover. What began as an experiment in fair trade retailing, has grown to not only incorporate a comfy gathering space for coffee and tea for friends, book clubs, and fundraisers, but also a truly unique gift store. Now in 2,000 square feet, Trade Roots sells unique and eco-friendly handcrafted items— from gorgeous Peruvian wood salad bowls, to Nepalese sterling silver, hand painted Tunisian ceramics and fun, inexpensive Guatemalan beaded jewelry for teens.

We also support the community by carrying many locally made handicrafts. All our products are not only one-of-a-kind but fashionable and sustainable, and support families worldwide. Fair Trade products are no longer solely ethnic or bohemian. Often with the help of American designers, artisans are creating first-class, quality products supported by conscientious consumers. In these times of big-box chains, Trade Roots is a hidden gem and a peaceful shopping experience.